Chicago City Guide
As if 10 mph winds, a population of 2.7 million, and the busiest airport in the world (O’Hare) weren’t exciting enough, the name Chicago is derived from the Native American word shikaakwa which, loosely translated, means “wild leek.”
Speaking of impressive stats, Chicago, Illinois also boasts the best deep dish pizza (most notably, at Lou Malnati’s), an impressive public transportation system (most notably, the “L”), and a history of mafia activity (most notably Al Capone). There’s plenty to do in a city with four distinct seasons: swim at 31st Street Beach, walk around the Arts District, ice skate at Millennium Park, and hang out at the Book Cellar. This city has a humid continental climate, which means that summers are hot and winters are snowy.
Unless you’re bent on becoming the next star of Hoarders, it’s probably in your best interest to rent yourself a self-storage unit to stash your winter gear, summer beach toys, and zillion books that you couldn’t not buy at the amazing bookstore (and if you weren’t tempted to buy at least a dozen books, then shame on you).
There is no end to things to see and do in Chicago, like taking yourself on an architectural tour of the city to see the first skyscraper in the world, the historic Chicago Board of Trade building, and The Robie House by Chicago native Frank Lloyd Wright. You can catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, blow all your cash shopping in Bucktown, or chill to some live jazz in Uptown. And if you’re in the Windy City on St. Patrick’s Day, you’re in for a real treat: the city dyes the Chicago River green and tons of people flock to it to stare at the emerald water.
If you’re one of the city officials, you might want to think about storing your 45 pounds of green dye at a self storage facility. You do not want to be the one to explain to the mayor how your kids accidentally knocked over all those buckets of dye.
If you're searching for self storage in Chicago, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The pricing and availability of storage units in Chicago will depend on several factors such as the real estate climate, the number of people moving into or throughout the area, housing conditions in the city, and the general wealth and prosperity of the area. The US Census keeps accurate data relating to all of these factors, so we've used their data on Chicago to help inform your Chicago self storage search.Chicago, IL Self Storage and Moving
Many people use storage as part of their move, so if there are many people moving to Chicago, you might expect storage prices to be higher and unit availability to be lower. We can get a good idea of whether or not many people are moving to or from Chicago by looking at the change in population. The US Census tells us that the metro area population of Chicago grew from 2,697,319 in 2010 to 2,722,389 in 2014, which is a rate of 0.93% growth over four years.The Real Estate Climate and Self Storage in Chicago, IL
In Chicago, like any city, the real estate climate can affect the prices and availability at storage facilties in a number of ways, one of those being the cost of housing. We can get a better idea of the relative cost of Chicago storage by looking into data on local home values and rental rates provided by the US Census. Census data tells us that the median home value in Chicago is $225,000, which is higher than the average median home value among the top 100 US metros. Chicago home values declined by -9.96% between 2009 and 2013. Housing in Chicago is less affordable than most other cities, with the median income making up 27.18% of the median home value. 66% of the housing stock in Chicago is owner occupied, a higher rate than other major American cities.
The median monthly housing rent in Chicago is $964 per month, which is higher than most other big cities. Between 2005 and 2013, the median rent in Chicago grew by 9.3%, a lower rate than comparable cities. The median rent in Chicago would eat up approximately 19% of the median income, which makes Chicago more affordable for most renters than comparable cities. 32% of Chicago housing stock is renter occupied, a lower percentage than other large US cities.
Another way housing may affect storage demand is in the general size of homes in that city, with areas where homes are smaller often having a greater need for extra storage space. The median number of rooms per home in Chicago is 6.4, which is lower than the average among the top 100 US metros. The median price per room in Chicago is $35,156, which is higher than average among the top US metro areas.
One way to get an idea of the demand for housing and storage space in Chicago is to look at housing occupancy and vacancy rates. Low rates of vacancy in Chicago housing could indicate that real estate is in short supply. Self storage units in Chicago may then also be in short supply, which means Chicago storage unit prices may be higher. Chicago is estimated to have a 87.5% housing occupancy rate, while the vacancy rate is at 12.5%. That's a higher rate than average for US cities, suggesting storage unit occupancy in Chicago may also be higher. That might make it harder to find cheap storage in Chicago.Chicago, IL Economics and Self Storage Prices
The local economy will also have an effect on self storage prices. Wealthier cities will likely have higher storage unit prices than cities where incomes are generally lower, so it may be useful to look at these numbers for Chicago, particularly if you're moving in from another city. The median income in Chicago is $61,156, which is higher than the average for large US cities. Between 2009 and 2013, median income in Chicago grew by 1.44%. 6.4% of residents in Chicago make over $200k in income a year, a higher rate than in other big cities. Chicago's GDP as of 2013 was $550,793,000,000, which gives it a GDP per capita of $57,706. That's a higher GDP per capita than the average for comparable cities. Education levels also tend to correlate with wealth. 25% of Chicago residents over the age of 18 have a high school diploma, 20% have a college degree, and 12% have a graduate or professional degree.